Sewer Scope Basics

Considering buying or selling a home, office, or commercial building?

In addition to a basic home or building inspection, one “optional” thing to carefully consider is to have a sewer scope performed. The seller before listing, and the buyer during the buyer’s inspection period.  You may have some questions about that.  In this article we will share with you the answers to the following questions:

What is a sewer scope?

Why do I need to have a sewer scope done?

What buildings should be scoped? And;

Who is the best person to do a sewer scope for me?

  1. Let’s begin:

What is a sewer scope?

A sewer scope inspection is a video inspection of the lateral sewer line (referred to by some plumbing codes as the “building sewer”) from the house at or near the foundation to the municipality’s or HOA’s tap or septic tank, performed for a fee.

Why do I need to have one done?

For sellers: For the same reason you would get a pre-listing inspection of your home or commercial building: So that YOU are not surprised. If the buyer has one done, and it reveals problems, you will have to deal with corrections, or negotiating compensation, when there is a clock ticking on the closing. “Emergency” repairs are always more expensive. Doing pre-listing building and sewer scope inspections can inform you of problems before they become an issue at closing, and that gives you time to learn about options and to shop for best prices.

For buyers: The #1 reason: To avoid costly repairs sometime in the future. Those repairs could be for either damages to the building caused by a plugged lateral line, or repairs or cleaning of the lateral line, or both.  We can’t see below ground. The sewer drainage system is a vital part of a building. If it does not consistently work properly, under all levels of use, living conditions in the building will be less than ideal. In fact, a partially or fully blocked DWV – Drain, Waste, Vent system, can make the home unlivable or temporarily close a business. Even brand-new homes and offices are found to have issues with the “lateral line” pipe between the building and the city sewer “tap” or property septic tank. After the building is complete and the landscaping is finished, there are only two ways to check the lateral lines: Digging up the pipes ($$$) or performing (and recording) a sewer scope.

The outside of a sewer lateral line might look fine, but could the inside look like this?:


What buildings should be scoped?

All buildings should have their lateral line(s) scoped periodically. But YOU only need to have it done if those lateral lines are, or will be, your responsibility.  So, the short answer is: every building, old or new, should be scoped, except where you are not responsible for the lateral line, as in a multi-story condo or townhome.  You might ask: why scope new or recent construction? The answer is: Because more than half of the problems that develop later are due to faulty or poor installation techniques along with lines that were damaged just after installation.

Who is the best person to do a scope for me?

Unless there are known issues with the sewer drainage system, a Sewer-Scope Certified Home Inspector is the best person to scope the sewer line.  You can get a plumber to do it, but that can cost as much as double what the inspector will charge.  Even at an equal price, plumbers are looking for additional income from “other” plumbing work.  Inspectors are not. That’s the purpose of a home inspection. A neutral third party who has no conflict of interest in telling you what additional specialty contractors need to look at the property, and which are not needed.

At The Best Property Inspections LLC, we can offer you the services of an InterNACHI Certified Sewer Scope Inspector for your inspections.   When considering which additional services to add to a basic building inspection, don’t forget to consider a sewer scope inspection.

Infrared (IR) Camera Inspections


Buildings like homes and offices are supposed to be places of comfort and safety.  An IR camera inspection of either the whole building or just specific sites can be very revealing. Take the two examples below.

  1. Insulation in the building. Not only are buildings insulated, but components inside the building are insulated.  Just looking at the insulation can never determine if the amount of, type of, and installation of the insulation is effective. But under the right conditions, the skillful user of an IR camera can find conditions in a building that are unsafe or inefficient.


IR Inspection

The photo above shows an insufficiently insulated HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) duct in an attic space.

The HVAC duct had insulation, but it was NOT effective!  With a 30-degree F temperature difference between the surface of the duct and the surrounding materials in the attic space, how much energy was being lost to the atmosphere?  If the house is found to not stay comfortable in the summer, or the utility costs are higher than necessary, more insulation over the ducts in the attic space would be a good place to work out a solution.  But without an IR camera inspection, how would the owner/buyer ever know?

  1. Equipment and appliances. Utilities use a lot of energy and are a great place to investigate with an IR camera.  Not only can overuse be an issue, but underuse can also be an issue.  Just looking at a cooling or heating device cannot tell the whole the whole story.  Yes, it works, but is it working efficiently? Effectively?


The above photo of a wall-mounted gas panel heater shows that only one of six panels is working.

While holding a hand over the top of the heater tells us that the heater is working, how well is it working? If only one panel out of 6 is producing heat, the unit is only 1/6th as effective as it could be. That room will very likely be uncomfortably cold during the heating season, but without an IR camera inspection, how would you know why?

The two examples above are only two places out of dozens that using an IR camera during an inspection could reveal much more about a building than only a visual inspection. To be fair, there are limitations to an IR inspection. First, it is beyond the scope of a regular home inspection. Second, it adds significant time to the inspection process.  Third, only a properly trained and experienced inspector, under certain conditions, will be able to find significant issues. So, it is not always possible to find every issue.

At The Best Property Inspections LLC, we can offer you the services of a CRT – Certified Residential Thermographer, for your inspections.   When considering which additional services to add to a basic building inspection, don’t forget to consider an IR inspection.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to transition to working from home. Although this reduces the likelihood of catching the virus, indoor air contaminants can still affect the health of your family. Here are eight things you can do to improve the indoor air quality at home.

1. Replace Air Filters

As your HVAC system heats or cools the air in your home, the filter collects airborne debris. Clogged filters cause the HVAC unit to run less efficiently. A dirty filter cannot trap more irritants, so dust, mold, and pet dander are recirculated through the air, triggering allergies and other health issues.

Along with the filters in your HVAC system, replace or clean the filters in your vacuum cleaner and air purifier machines as recommended by the manufacturers.

2. Clean the Linens and Upholstery

Dirty sheets, cushions, pillows, and curtains encourage dust mites, the most common indoor allergen. To keep dust mites at bay, wash these items each week or at least twice a month in hot water.

3. Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Not only are houseplants aesthetically pleasing, but some help to eliminate airborne toxins while replenishing oxygen. Some of the best purifying houseplants are English ivy, Boston fern, gerber daisy, and spider plant. If you choose to keep plants in your home, learn how to care for them properly. Overwatering is a common cause of mold growth which can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

4. Use an Air Purifier

Despite your best house cleaning efforts, some pollutants will still remain in your home. To help you breathe easier, use an air purifier, a portable machine that captures and eliminates many indoor contaminants. Find an air purifier with a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate).

Use purifiers in the busiest rooms in your home and install one in the bedroom of any family member who suffers from allergies. You can also install a whole-house purifier in your HVAC system. This type of purifier filters air as it passes through your entire house.

5. Vacuum Regularly to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Carpet fibers and rugs trap dust mites, pollen, dirt, mold spores, and other irritants. Improve indoor air quality by vacuuming at least twice a week using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Make sure that your vacuum has powerful suction so that debris doesn’t get blown back into the room.

6. Keep Pet Dander in Check

As much as you love your pets, they contribute to poor air quality with their fur and dander. Brush your cat weekly and bathe your dog regularly to keep your home cleaner. You may need to groom long-haired pets daily. You’ll have better air quality, plus your pets will love the attention.

7. Use Door Mats

Place a doormat inside and outside of each exterior door. Things like pesticides, dirt, and allergens can be tracked into your house via shoes. A mat will trap some of these contaminants before they are carried inside. Choose doormats that are easy to wash and spray them down with a garden hose frequently.

8. Improve Indoor Air Quality by Reducing Humidity

If your home has high humidity, the excess moisture will support mold and mildew growth. These conditions also foster termite and dust mite infestations. Reduce moisture in the air by using portable dehumidifiers throughout your house. You can also integrate a whole-house dehumidifier with your HVAC system. Your home’s humidity level should be between 30 percent to 50 percent.

Staying home during this pandemic can be challenging. It’s difficult to feel well if you’re breathing unhealthy air. Improve indoor air quality by following the tips listed above and enjoy a healthier, contaminant-free home.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers home inspection services to customers in the southeastern part of Arizona. Contact us to request an appointment.

A small kitchen can still be functional and stylish when it’s well-designed. To make the best use of a smaller area, add space-saving techniques and storage options. Here are a few ideas for small kitchens.

Ideas for Small Kitchens

Choose Smaller Appliances

Standard-sized appliances are usually about 30 inches wide. If you’re dealing with limited space, every inch counts. Install smaller appliances to free up essential space. Appliances are available in widths as narrow as 24″. Choose quality appliances for the best performance and longest lifespan.

A Single Bowl Sink is Great for a Small Kitchen

A standard sink takes up valuable countertop space in a small kitchen. Installing a deeper, single bowl gives you more room and still allows you enough space to get dishes done.

Ideas for Small Kitchens: Vertical Storage

Storage is at a premium in small spaces, so you’ll need to make good use of every square inch. Vertical storage is one of the most useful ideas for small kitchens.

When remodeling, choose cabinets that extend up to the ceiling. If that’s not possible, invest in baskets or bins that fit snugly in the space above your cabinets. These are great for pantry staples and infrequently used cookware.

Walls offer another vertical storage option. Install some hooks near the stove as a place to store often-used pots, pans, and cooking utensils. A magnetic strip on the wall will hold your knives when not in use.

Make Your Island Multi-Purpose

If you have room for an island, make every inch count. Drawers, hooks on the sides, and built-in appliances are just a few things you can add. If you have extra room, add food prep space to the island and storage for pots and pans.

When designing or buying an island, think about how you use the kitchen. Make cooking easier by organizing the island to store items you use every day.

Remove a Door or Wall

If your kitchen has a door that closes it off from the rest of the house, remove it. This frees up the space the door uses when opening and closing. Removing the door, widening the doorway, or taking out a wall will also make the space feel more open.

Ideas for Corners in Your Small Kitchen

Small kitchens may have corners that can become functional spaces. Install corner shelves to hold dishware or spices. A small corner can be outfitted with hooks to store cooking utensils. Add a corner wine rack or hang a small mesh hammock for storing fruits and veggies.

Use these ideas for small kitchens to transform the room into an efficient and stylish space.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspections to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

It can be frustrating to try to find your belongings in a disorganized closet. Organize your closet to reduce stress and make life easier. Check out these 6 simple tips to get your closet in order.

1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Items Before You Start to Organize Your Closet

You probably have a number of items in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while. It’s easier to organize when you have less stuff, so get rid of all of the clothes, accessories, and shoes that you haven’t worn for a year. You can either donate or sell items in good shape and throw away those that are damaged and worn.

2. Find Space for Your Shoes

If you’re just storing your shoes on the floor of your closet, there is no way they can be organized. Purchase cubbies or a flat shoe rack to place on the floor of your closet for your shoes. You can even build your own custom shoe rack to ensure your new shoe storage method fits your exact needs.

3. Add Some Light to Your Closet

If your closet is small, it might not have adequate lighting, which makes it more difficult to see and find things. Depending on the layout of your closet, you can add lighting above shelves or in the center of the space if you have a walk-in closet.

4. Fold Sweaters

Sweaters and delicate knits are not meant to be stored on hangers because it can stretch them out. Instead, they should be folded on shelves or placed in drawers to help them keep their shape. You’ll free up valuable hanger space by re-organizing your knits and sweaters.

5. Organize Your Closet Drawers

The drawers inside the closet can get messy as you go through them daily. Drawer inserts help to organize small items like jewelry, socks, undergarments, or belts and also reduce the time you spend searching for smaller items in your closet.

6. Fill Up Unused Space

In order to organize your closet in the most functional way, be sure to use all of the available space, including walls and doors. Make sure that any closet inserts you install are practical and aren’t leaving space unused.

When you organize your closet, you’ll be able to easily find what you need. If you’re getting bothered by the mess in your closet, take these six easy steps to transform it into a tidy space.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers home inspection services in Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Do you have a backyard swimming pool and are wanting to update the area? There are ways to upgrade your pool that don’t cost a fortune. This article goes over some affordable pool improvements that are well worth completing.

Upgrade Your Pool with Underwater Seats

Underwater seats in the shallow end of the pool turn the pool’s edge into a swim-up table. You can’t put regular stools in the pool because they will float and the pool chemicals will wear down the finish. Purchase heavy seats that are specifically built for swimming pools.

Solar Pool Cover

A solar pool cover is a small investment that will preserve your pool’s heat and water. You can save up to 75% of the heat and water by covering your pool with a solar pool cover, compared to an uncovered pool. The cover also helps your pool’s heater run more efficiently. The cover only costs a couple of hundred dollars at most, so it will easily pay for itself in savings.

Add LED Lights to Upgrade Your Pool

Underwater lights make your pool safer and more festive. Add some LED lights to the walls of your pool to give it an appealing glow at night. You can find lights with multiple color options and different pre-programmed settings to change things up often.

Patio Furniture

Enjoy your pool area even when you are not swimming by adding comfortable furniture to the patio around your pool. Chairs with waterproof cushions and an outdoor dining set with an umbrella will make your pool area a great place to hang out, even when it’s not swimming weather.

Saltwater Chlorine Generator

With one of these devices, you can have a saltwater pool in your backyard. Many people prefer swimming in saltwater because it has beneficial health properties for the skin and muscles. This type of pool is still sanitary because it uses dissolved salt to function as chlorine.

A saltwater chlorine generator also automates the balancing process so you won’t have to manually add chlorine to your pool. You’ll enjoy having less pool maintenance responsibilities and will have pool water that leaves your skin feeling soft.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides pool and spa inspections to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

Cutting energy costs is a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Use these tips to improve energy efficiency and lower your monthly utility bills. Here are three ways to reduce the cost of operating your home.

1. Manage Moisture

Make your home more energy efficient by controlling the moisture inside. A hot day is even more uncomfortable when combined with high humidity. Drying the air in your home makes it feel cooler in the summertime, even if you don’t lower the temperature. While your home’s HVAC system will help to reduce moisture in the air, heating and cooling make up as much as 40% of a home’s energy consumption.

On days when the temperature is mild, turn off the HVAC unit and use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. The drier air will feel much cooler and more comfortable and you’ll reduce the chances of mold growth in the home.

2. Use Fans to Improve Energy Efficiency

A fan helps save money on cooling costs. Using box fans and running your ceiling fans will help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. When the weather is warmer, set the ceiling fan to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. Fans create a windchill effect that helps cool the people in the room.

You can also use fans on mild days or in the evenings instead of running the HVAC system. Open the windows and direct the fan to circulate cooler air.

3. Install a Tankless Water Heater

Home water heaters hold 40 to 50 gallons of hot water, much of which simply sits there until it cools down and must be reheated. Lowering the temperature on the water heater will save energy. You can also wrap the tank in insulation to reduce heat loss from the stored water.

Tankless water heaters rapidly heat the water on demand so that you have hot water when you want it without storing and constantly reheating gallons of water.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

During spring cleaning, there are some common areas that are often overlooked. Leave nothing untouched by following these spring cleaning tips.

6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Forgotten Areas

Air Vents

Before you start running your AC, change the HVAC filter and dust off the air vents. Use your vacuum cleaner nozzle or brush attachments over the outside of the vent first. Next, remove the cover of the air duct. Using microfiber cloths, dust the grate, then rinse both sides. Let the cover dry completely before replacing it.


While we remember to wash our sheets, pillowcases, and duvets or bedspreads, how often do we remember to clean and rotate our mattresses? Use your vacuum cleaner nozzle to remove any dust from your mattress. Baking soda works well to deodorize the mattress. Just sprinkle it on, let sit for an hour or so, then vacuum it up.

Another option is to purchase a removable mattress protector that you can throw in your washing machine. It is recommended to flip and rotate all coil and foam mattresses regularly so that they wear evenly.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Light Fixtures

We all have several light fixtures in our homes that require cleaning. While dusting the base of a lamp and outer parts of a lampshade are easy, the bulb inside and the interior of the lampshade are often forgotten. Light bulbs last longer now, so you may not think about them until they need to be replaced.

Remove all bulbs and dust them. Next, take a lint roller and use it on the inside of the lampshade. Don’t forget your ceiling light covers and bulbs, and any exterior lights. Add these spring cleaning tips to your list this year and your home will look much brighter.

Light Switches and Electrical Outlet Plates

It is easy to forget to clean your light switches and outlet plates, though they are touched often and collect germs. Wipe all light switches and outlet covers, especially the ones in your bathrooms, with a disinfectant cleaner.

Ceiling Fans

Dirt and dust collect on ceiling fan blades throughout the year. It’s best to clean them at least twice a year in autumn and spring when you switch the direction of the blades. Some dusters extend to reach the fans, or you can stand on a step stool and clean them with a wet cloth.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Faucets and Showerheads

Faucets and showerheads may get a quick wipe down when cleaning sinks and tubs, but they too need a deep cleaning. Spring cleaning tips for these fixtures include scrubbing each with a small brush. For a deeper clean of the shower heads, remove them and soak in a cleaner for an hour or so.

Another option for both faucets and showerheads is to add an even mix of water and vinegar to a small plastic bag. Bind the bag over the faucet or showerhead and let it stay there for an hour. Take away the bag, run your water, and do a last quick scrub.

Keep these spring cleaning tips in mind when you take on this project and you’ll clean areas of your home that may have not been cleaned in years.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

A deck is a popular space for entertaining and relaxing on a pleasant day. If you are thinking about building a new deck, you have plenty of choices to make. Here are the pros and cons of different decking materials. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Decking Materials

Natural Wood


The beauty of natural wood enhances the look of outdoor areas. Wood decks are not noisy when walked on. Well-cared-for natural wood is comfortable on bare feet and generally doesn’t become too hot in the sun. Pressure-treated wood is fairly inexpensive, can last up to 20 years, and is resistant to rot and mildew when properly maintained.


One of the primary disadvantages of natural wood decking is the required maintenance. These materials require annual staining and sealing, and occasional repairs to keep it in good condition. The color of the wood will fade over time with exposure to the elements. Regular cleaning is more time-consuming than other materials. Costs can vary significantly, depending on the type of wood used.

Man-Made Decking Materials


Homeowners can find different types of man-made deck materials. Plastic decking consists of polyvinyl chloride or high-density polyethylene. Plastic deck material requires the least amount of maintenance, requiring only soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Another type of man-made deck material, called “composite,” is made from recycled plastic, bamboo fibers, and wood dust to create a surface that looks and feels similar to natural wood.


Plastic decking can be slippery when wet. The plastic can also get very hot in the sun, making it difficult to walk on with bare feet. Composite deck material generally has a more textured surface, which is less slippery. However, the natural materials in the material can mildew and deteriorate. Textured surfaces trap dirt and debris, making it difficult to clean. The color will fade over time in direct sunlight.

Choosing the best decking material depends on the building site, your budget, and the style of your home. Once you have narrowed down your options, focus on the finer details, like color, texture, and finish. You’ll have a beautiful deck that suits your property.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Ordering an inspection of your home before listing it for sale helps you avoid surprises and streamline the sales process. When a buyer makes an offer on your home, he or she will order an inspection and the information in the report can affect the sale. As the owner, you can order a pre-listing home inspection to discover problems before putting your home on the market.

Reduce Stress with a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

One of the benefits of a pre-listing inspection is that it reduces the stress surrounding the process. It’s common to have a little anxiety about where problems may exist. An inspection uncovers these issues and gives you the opportunity to take care of them before offering your home for sale.

A pre-listing inspection allows you to decide how and when to repair any issues because you have control over the timeline before listing. Without an inspection, your buyer’s inspection may reveal problems that will have to be repaired promptly in order for the sale to go through.

Price Your Home Accurately

Pricing your home is one of the key elements of closing the sale. Buyers may not even tour the property if you price it too high. Price it too low and you’re losing money on the deal.

It is a challenge, however, to price your home appropriately without knowing its true condition. A pre-listing inspection solves this problem by outlining any defects ahead of time so you can adjust the price accordingly. If you find that your home is in great shape, you can ask for a higher list price

Sell Your Home Faster with a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Buyers typically feel better making offers when they’re shown a current inspection report. The inspection shows that your house has been priced according to its actual condition. When you share the results of your inspection, the buyer will see you as more trustworthy and will have more confidence moving forward.

Make Upfront Repairs

With a pre-listing inspection, you and your real estate agent can decide which repairs to make before listing. If electrical problems or roofing issues are discovered, those are repairs potential buyers might not want to deal with. A home with expensive repair needs will either need to be updated or else listed at a lower asking price.

Getting defects fixed before putting the home on the market gives you the advantage of selling an improved home. You’ll likely recoup the repair costs because you can list the property for more money.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection: Avoid Renegotiation Hassles

Waiting for the buyer’s inspection following an offer on your home allows room for negotiations. You can avoid lengthy renegotiations with a pre-listing inspection because you’ve priced the home fairly and disclosed any defects or needed repairs.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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